Costa Rica News – We are going to see a new face that can take out letters to us in Costa Rica, perhaps they will be able to find the address….300 meters past where the dog used to be and the thrid yellow house on the right.
Over the last eight years Correos de Costa Rica has been completed transformed and rebranded. The organization has been restructured, personnel re-trained, IT systems invested in, and the operation has been redesigned to manage high volumes of packages. Through new connections with government institutions Correos has also now become the core institution for delivery of government services to citizens and business.
These major changes were recognized in June 2014 at the World Mail Awards when the Post won the Growth category. Commercial Director at Correos de Costa Rica, Mauricio Rojas Cartin, speaks to Post & Parcel about the journey the Post has been on.
“Since 2006, Correos de Costa Rica has been developing strategies to help reinvent the country’s postal business. In 2006, 90% of Correos de Costa Rica’s income came from letters. In 2008, the volume of Costa Rica’s letter mail had fallen by 50%.
We decided to focus on three target audiences to help us make the necessary changes: the public, financial and commercial sectors.
- For the public sector we wanted to offer the postal agencies for the decentralization of the Government services, in order to avoid duplicity and help make the Government more efficient.
- For the financial sector our aim was to relieve the pressure from the back offices at the bank by delivering items such as credit cards directly to customers.
- For the commercial sector we came up with a sales strategy to offer catalogue merchants servicing Costa Rica – such as Shoe, Avon, Amway, Christian Lay and Omnilife – special rates for delivery, tracking numbers and a pickup service for their packages.
We have expanded dramatically since 2006 – increasing the lines of service we provide from 20 to 56 and becoming a central point of contact for so many public services making our citizen’s lives easier and more efficient. Alongside our traditional lines of service such as letters, postcards, telegrams and personal parcels; we now offer customers the facility to change of vehicle plates, pay their water, telephone and energy bills, buy insurance, collect internet purchases, get real estate certificates and apply for a new passport.
Traditionally the public had to go to the Migration Bureau if they wanted a new passport but now the postman can be given identity documents and customers can go to the Post Office to pick up the passport at the end of the process. All these new revenue streams have been vital to sustain our business and now 35% of the company revenue comes from the services we traditionally provided.
We are also now working with the National Bank and the Costa Rica Bank. We outsource the personnel they need for their call centres. In there, our workers promote their services, give customer service in general, and activate credit and saving cards.
We are also working with the US Embassy in Costa Rica and provide personnel that guide the US visa applicants inside the US Embassy when they have the appointment with the Consul.
The main challenge we faced throughout the transformation was to change people’s perception of Correos de Costa Rica as a traditional post offering bad quality service to an image of a modern Post service offering high quality service. Another challenge was to make the Postal Service visible by the Government and the Costa Rican society, so they could benefit from our new services.
Our transformation and rebranding exercise has attracted many new customers. We have improved delivery times, provide tracking services for packages and established a Customer Service Department which has shown the public that we are serious about providing a quality service. We also offer competitive prices to businesses sending large volumes of parcels.
Commercially we are the only postal company in Costa Rica which covers the entire country – as many other smaller delivery companies have problem reaching certain areas of the country and now many more businesses and private customers know about and use us –indeed the percentage of packages we handle today is up 15% from 2006.
We are incredibly proud of winning the World Mail Award and getting international recognition for the work that we have done to make changes, offer innovative services to society and maintain a sustainable operation.
As for the future we want to offer more innovative services and, we are also trying to help develop the local and international e-commerce, and at the moment we are one of the top five companies offering e-commerce services in Costa Rica.”